Masters on their marks

On your marks, set, go! Registrations for the 2017 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns are now open.

The four-day biennial event will return to Far North Queensland on 25-28 May 2017. Organisers expect around 2000 participants aged 35 and over to converge on Cairns for the celebration of Masters’ sport in the tropics.

As an extra incentive, athletes who enter the 2017 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games before 31 December have the chance to win an accommodation and tour package for three nights at the Mantra Trilogy, valued at approximately $1800.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning officially opened the Games registrations today and said the Masters Games combined fun and friendship with competition, with Cairns perfectly placed to host the Games for the third time.

“Cairns offers an amazing backdrop for this type of event, competitors can put themselves to the test on the field during the competition, relax and enjoy the Games hospitality during the night, and explore our spectacular natural attractions in their spare time,” Cr Manning said.

“In 2017, there will be more sports on offer, more entertainment and some great competition. We have 19 sports officially open for registrations with more expected over coming weeks.

“We are also excited to announce the first of our ambassadors for the Games. Joyce Lester (Softball) and Bluey Forsyth (Sports Personality) will return as ambassadors for the second time and they will be joined by new faces, dual-Olympic track and field representative Jill Boltz and former NRL player David Westley.

“These four ambassadors are all locals and are great examples of the benefits of staying active and enjoying sport as you get older.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said the Games was a great opportunity to profile the Tropical North as a major events destination.

“Cairns is the perfect blend of natural attractions and tropical lifestyle to host great tourism and event experiences,” Ms Jones said.

“The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games gives thousands of athletes and visitors the chance to experience Tropical North Queensland, showcasing the region and delivering an injection into the local economy.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the destination-owned Great Barrier Reef Masters Games was a signature event for Tropical North Queensland.

“The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games allows participants to compete in the sport of their choice in the world’s best place to engage with nature - Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef."

To register for the 2017 Great Barrier Reef Masters Games visit www.gbrmg.com.au.

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are presented by Cairns Regional Council with support from Strategic Partner Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Tropical North Queensland.